Today is being celebrated as International Women's Day, as such, it is important for me as a man to acknowledge and highlight that many industries, and especially the digital technology (tech) industry, across the world and not just in Africa, is still very much dominated by men. As such we all need to be aware of this and do whatever is possible to empower women.
The argument around everyone supporting the empowerment of women is simple, a lot of research has shown that empowering women, especially financially, leads to the development of the communities they live in and societies at large. Even more importantly, it is the tight thing to do.
For today's issue of the newsletter, I will leave you with some quotes from some women whose thoughts we have recently published on iAfrikan.com.
👩🏾💻 "It would be great to see more women in decision making roles in the tech industry. I would also like to see tech industries change their culture and afford more women an opportunity to grow in tech roles. This means tech companies should also find ways to retain women, even after they have children, and allow for more work-life balance within their structures." - Faith Ramusetheli, Transformation Director at Sage Africa & Middle East, writing about transformation for women in the technology industry.
💻 "Inclusivity from a business perspective should however be viewed with an even broader lens. Male and female leaders should continue to give exposure and ‘open the door’ to opportunities for women. When operating in such a virtual world of work, this is a deliberate effort of stepping aside to allow women to lead a project, pitch, take their rightful seat at the boardroom table, and drive initiatives. Succession plans can play a valuable role in this if they are deliberate, fair, and supported by mentors and sponsors," - Emma Mer, CEO of FNB South Africa, Loans, sharing her thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on women.
🧪 "The challenge we have is perception. And confidence. Far too often, girls wrongly believe that they’re not good in science; they think they’re best in the arts. And we have to break that stereotype too. How do we do this? First of all, let’s give our girls the confidence and belief that’s going to change these perceptions. We should celebrate them when they do well and encourage them to see that they can be just as good as anyone, if not better when it comes to learning STEM subjects. By acknowledging their abilities at a young age and reminding them of their abilities throughout their time at school, we’re helping these young girls believe that they choose science as a career choice," - Siphumelele Nhlapo, Human Resources Director for Schneider Electric Anglophone Cluster, writes on celebrating women scientists and engineers.
🦸🏿♀️ In other good news announced on International Women's Day is that Google, through Google.org, will be committing $25 million towards the development of women and girls across. Africa.Google.org's new challenge is inviting applications for cash grants from NPOs dedicated to the economic empowerment of women and girls. The Google Impact Challenge for Women and Girls will pledge $25 million in overall cash grants to NPOs and social enterprises across Africa that are seen as creating pathways to prosperity for women and girls. Applications close 2 April 2021. Link
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